Kombucha starter kit guidelines
Kombucha is a popular health promoting beverage and natural folk remedy made by fermenting tea. The Kombucha culture looks like a rubbery pancake. SCOBYs vary in shape and colour depending on the type of tea and ingredients used. The culture is placed in sweetened black or green tea and turns the tea into a sea of health giving acids and nutrients. The Kombucha culture feeds on the sugar and, in exchange, produces other valuable substances which change into the drink: glucuronic acid, glucon acid, lactic acid, vitamins, amino acids, antibiotic substances, and other products. The Kombucha culture is, therefore, a real tiny biochemical factory.
Glass Jar, Cover and Band, Starter Tea*, Organic Unrefined Sugar
Organic Jiaogulan Green Tea and Organic Pu-eur Tea Leaves (aged at least 6 years) Tea Leaf Strainer, Kombucha SCOBY*, Printed Instructions.
* Produced with organic ingredients.
*This is a live SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) in a potent state ready for brewing. It has not been dried, frozen or stored for long periods of time that can make the scoby dormant and can reduce its effectiveness. The "mother" scoby will produce offspring that can be used for subsequent batches along with the "mother”.How to Use the Kit
Put both green teas and sugar (removed from packets) in a measuring jug
Add 450ml boiling water. Stir to dissolve all the sugar and leave to stand until barely warm. Never add the SCOBY to hot liquid as it will kill it
Using the glass jar (approx. 0.5l), place a sieve over it and pour the barely warm sweetened tea into it
Squeeze the tea leaves in the sieve with a spatula to remove most of the tea liquid (discard or compost tea leaves)
Add the organic starter tea to the jar (remove packaging)
Add the organic kombucha scoby to the liquid (remove packaging)
Place the cotton cover over the jar and secure it with the elastic band
Place the jar in a warm place or airing cupboard (20-24C) for approximately a week until the sugar has been processed and the tea tastes pleasant but not too sweet. The best way is to taste it after a few days and then continue tasting it every other day until it is just right. The tea should have a slightly vinegary taste which gives it a ‘kick’. The longer you brew it, the more sour it will become. If the temperature is too low the kombucha may not work and can result in a mouldy SCOBY (fur on the top of the liquid, not to be confused with a new ‘baby’ SCOBY growing (see below).
You will notice a whitish film on top of the brew. This is a new ‘baby’ from the ‘mother’ SCOBY and can be used for future brews. You should not remove the new SCOBY but leave it to grow. When the tea tastes right pour half of it into a glass bottle and refrigerate for a few days before drinking The remaining 250ml of tea and the SCOBY’s can be used to make a larger batch (please see below).
How to make 2 litres of Kombucha Tea
(just scale up or down ingredients if you want to make smaller or larger volumes)
Use organic ingredients where possible
You will need:
2-4 teaspoons (or tea bags) of black, roibos or green tea or combination of any of these
1 x 2 litre glass jar (never use leaded glass, crystal or glazed containers that may contain lead and seep into the tea, food grade glass is best). Plastic is not recommended for the same reasons
1.75 litres filtered water
You will also need the 250ml starter tea and SCOBY left over from your first brew
Use plastic or wood stirring utensils (never use metal in contact with the actual kombucha scoby). For extra flavour try adding fruit teas (not citrus) along with the regular tea, you can also add fresh fruit/ginger to the brewed product.
Place 1.75l filtered water and 160g sugar together in a saucepan. Add the loose tea or tea bags and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Take saucepan off the heat and leave to cool to room temperature. Pour the barely warm tea into the 2 litre glass jar through a sieve and discard the tea leaves. Be sure to allow to cool to room temperature before adding the SCOBY and starter tea.
Place the kombucha SCOBY and starter tea from your first batch in the jar of room temperature sweet tea and place in a warm room or airing cupboard (22-24C) away from direct sunlight.
If the SCOBY has mould on it (fur) then discard it, sterilise all items and order a new SCOBY.
Diabetics, pregnant or lactating women, or people with existing medical conditions should consult a medical professional before starting on a kombucha or diet regime.
Happy, healthy brewing!